There are hundreds of children’s books telling stories of kids who find amazing treasures and secret tunnels in their back yard, but that’s all they are, stories. But for the people on this list, their back yards have been home to the most incredible things. Here are 10 of the strangest things ever found in a back yard.
1. The Green Stuff
In the Silver Lake neighbourhood of Los Angeles, Mack Reed was installing solar panels in his garden in December 2012. He opened an underground access hatch for an inspector and found something unexpected. Inside the hatch was a large green army green duffel bag stuffed with around $175,000 worth of marijuana and hash. The bag had many different varieties of the herb in over 60 jars, bags and packages.
Nervous that the bag’s owner could return at any time, Mack called the police only to be told that there was no one available to go out to his house and suggested that he take the bag to the station himself. He refused explaining to the phone operator that he did not want to risk getting pulled over by the police with drugs in his car. The police sent someone out soon after and Mack left a note on the hatch, just incase the owner came back. It read “We found it and called the LAPD. They confiscated it and are now watching the place. Sorry.”
Two kids from Los Angeles started to dig in their back yard to fill some time in 1978. The kids found much more than they could have ever dreamed of when their digging led them to uncover a Ferrari Dino 246 GTS. The local police and a small group of men helped to excavate the car and after some research discovered that the car had been stolen 4 years before from a man named Rosendo Cruz of Alhambra, California in 1974. The then owners of the house claimed to have no idea that the car was there.
After the car was removed it was returned to the insurance company that had covered Curz’s loss and put for sale at auction. The current owner of the green Ferrari with the license plate “Dug Up” bought the car in 1978.
3. The Gold Stash
A couple were walking their dog on their property in 2013 when discovered a rusty box sticking out of the ground. The unidentified couple from Sierra Nevada picked up the canister and took it home. When they opened it they discovered that it contained almost perfectly preserved gold disks that were actually $20 gold coins dating from the 1890’s.
After going back to the site, the couple discovered 8 canisters in total, containing 1,247 coins with a face value of $27,980. 1,373 were $20 coins, 50 were $10 coins and 4 were $5 coins. The coins were minted from 1847 to 1894 with most of them in pristine condition and never circulated in the general public. The find is believed to be the biggest hoard of coins ever unearthed in the United States and is valued at $10 million. In March 2014, the US Mint stated that the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins are not linked to any United States Mint Facility robery.
4. The Bomb Shelter
In California, 2013, Chris and Coleen Otcasek bought a house with the added feature of a bomb shelter in the back yard, but when the couple investigated, they discovered that it was much more that just a hole in the ground. Built in 1961 by Nuclear Engineer Alvin Kaufman, the shelter was fully stocked and perfectly preserved with items from the 60’s. The supplies included aluminum foil, tissues, sleeping pills, cans of food and even coffee. There were even books to read.
5.The Cursed Money
In Johnsburg, Illinois, 2001, Wayne Sajab was picking broccoli in his backyard when he found a nylon bag stuffed with $150,000. Wayne, worried that the money came from a robbery, handed it over to the police who told him that if no one claimed the money by the end of 2012, it would be his to keep. 87 year old Dolores Johnson who lived near by and a Naperville Liquor store owner stepped forward to claim the cash.
Johnson, who suffered with dementia claimed that she had got rid of the money because it was cursed. The Judge gave Johnson’s daughter the bulk of the cash and a small portion went to Wayne as a reward. Wayne died 10 days later before receiving the money which was then passed on to his father, Kevin, who had a heart attack and died after hearing about the death of his son, so he also never received the money.
6. The 1000 pound fossil
In 1978, a junior at Rolling High School in Rancho Palos Verdes, California named Gary Johnson had a keen interest in archeology. It was around this time that he noticed a large rock with a bone pattern on it sticking out of the ground. With the help of some friends, Johnson rolled the 1000 pound rock around 200 yards into his parents back yard. After hours of chipping away at the shale and dirt, Johnson called an expert to get his opinion. The expert deemed the rock insignificant and the fossil sat in the back yard for over 35 years.
In February 2014, Johnson saw a news piece about a 600 pound rock that turned out to be the skull of a sperm whale. The skull had been found at Chadwick School, just a few hundred miles from where Gary had found his fossil all those years ago. Johnson called Howell Thomas, a senior paleontological preparator at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles. Thomas estimated the fossil to be between 14 and 16 million years old and includes the jawbone and skull of a Baleen whale. It is one of only 20 known specimens in the world. With a little help from volunteers, the fossil was moved to the Natural History Museum where it is currently undergoing further study.
7. The 1000 year old Native American
In Salt Lake City, 2014, a homeowner was digging his backyard to make a pond when he discovered human remains. He called the police who sent the bones to the medical examiner for tests. The results were quite shocking. The bones were not a result of a murder, but belonged to a Native American who had lived and died in Utah about 1000 years ago. State officials are contacting American Indian tribes to determine the heritage.
8. The 200, 650 year old jewels
In 2007, a man known as Anders K from Wiener Neustadt, Austria, was expanding his pond when he found a real life treasure trove. The incredible find included 200 rings, brooches, ornate belt buckles, gold plated silver plates and other pieces and fragments, many of which were encrusted with pearls, fossilized coral and other ornaments.
Even though Anders K discovered the treasure in 2007, he had forgotten about them until 2009 when he was packing up his home to move. He uploaded photos of the jewelry online and collectors quickly told him about the potential value of the items. Anders K put the treasures in a plastic bag and took them to the Bundesdenkmalamt (the Austrian Federal Monument Agency), who called it “the find of a fairytale” and “a sensational find”. The objects are said to be about 650 years old and are currently on lend to an Austrian museum.
9. The World War II Bombs
Thousands of homes in Orlando, Florida were unknowingly built over a 12,000 acre World War II bombing range. In 1998, a bomb was discovered near the running track of a local middle school. Since then an incredible 126 rockets and bombs have been found on the school property.
Bombs have also been found in several backyards of nearby houses and the Army Corps of Engineering have launched a $10 million cleanup of the area. The value of the homes in the area has plummeted and many lawsuits have been filed.
10. The Actress Who Played Lois Lane
In 1996, a 47 year old woman was found in the back yard of someone’s house in Glendale, California. The police were called and the woman turned out to be Margot Kiddler who played Lois Land in the Christopher Reeve series of Superman.
Margot was missing for 4 days before being found with her front teeth missing, her hair cut and wearing soiled clothes. She claimed that she was assaulted and was being followed. She was later diagnosed with Bipolar disorder.